What if you knew that within the first hour of posting a job application, ten candidates started filling the application out? Pretty good, right? But what if we told you that six of those candidates QUIT filling out the application halfway through?
Recent statistics suggest that this is what’s happening: as many as 60% of applicants quit filling out an online job application right around the mid-point. If the number sounds high to you, many hiring experts suggest that the actual rate may be even higher. And their reasoning is simple: candidates often get turned off when a job application is either too long or too complex.
Doesn’t a long job application “weed out” weaker candidates?
Once upon a time, hiring professionals believed that a longer job application was better. As they saw it, the long job application helped screen candidates who were either less qualified, less motivated, or both. Even today, some recruiters and hiring managers still trust this model. But for job seekers, the opposite is often true.
When an online job application is too long or too complex, employers may lose out on job candidates from across the talent pool.
Today’s job seekers are well-aware of how valuable their time is. In an online environment, they expect job applications to keep up with the medium itself.
- They want to be able to complete job applications in real-time, rather than having to save and return to them later.
- They want online applications to function in a web-friendly way, from how it looks on screen, to how it works across devices (laptops, tablets and phones).
- They don’t want to deal with redundancies like multiple log-ins, keying or pasting information from their resume into the application, or answering similar sounding questions as they scroll from page to page.
Previously we’ve written about the importance of testing your own job application. It’s a great way for you to determine if you’re asking the questions needed to find the best candidates for the job.
Here are additional questions to ask yourself when you’re creating or revising a job application. When you avoid these red flags, you can help keep candidates engaged with the job application process from start to finish—and may lower your bounce rate accordingly.
- How many questions does your job application ask? The recruitment company Appcast found job applications of 25 or fewer questions have twice the completion rate than applications with 50 or more questions. If the goal is to encourage candidates to complete your online job application, fewer questions is often better.
- Is your application redundant in any way? Ensure the application doesn’t ask unnecessary questions that will solicit similar answers.
- Is your job application smartphone-ready? Across all demographics, smartphones are becoming more ingrained in our lives by the day. When your job application is smartphone-friendly, you may reach a wider range of job applicants and allow them the ability to fill out your application at a time that’s right for them—whether they’re taking public transportation between job interviews, sitting in a café, or are in the lobby of a movie theater during the coming attractions. Don’t believe us? As one study puts it, mobile recruiting is becoming the “new normal.” And this starts with the job application.
As you continue to refine your job application, remember the ripple effect it sends across your entire organization. As we pointed out in a previous post, it takes an average of 52 days to fill an open position. This gap in your org chart may put serious strain on existing employees and the company’s bottom line.
One way to begin bringing this number down is to increase the number of qualified applicants who finish your job application.
Ready to automate your application process?
myStaffingPro’s application tracking software gives you tools to create powerful, easy-to-fill job applications. Candidates can pre-populate fields via social apply or resume parsing, cutting their application time and increasing your application completion rate. On-the-go candidates can even fill out applications via mobile devices.
Our support and integration teams are based in the U.S., and will configure your software to fit your unique process and needs. Our solution even includes candidate support, so applicants with technical questions can contact us with software issues—instead of their potential employer.